Tag Archives: News


By: N.A. on March 25, 2002
Original Article: AUTOWEEK, VOL. 52, ISSUE 13

Four F1 races on ABC
ABC Sports will televise four Formula One races this season. The network will televise the Grand Prix of Monaco on May 26, the Grand Prix of Canada on June 9, the Grand Prix of Italy on Sept. 14 and the U.S. Grand Prix on Sept. 29. The broadcasts from Canada and Indianapolis will be live, with Monaco shown at 3:30 p.m. Eastern and Italy at 1 p.m. Eastern.

Saleen penalized
The Saleen S7R was hit by a big performance penalty just before the opening round of the American Le Mans Series (page 41). The four GTS-class cars entered in the Sebring 12-hour were forced to run with 70kg of ballast and 15 percent smaller engine air restrictors. The penalties were applied because the Saleen failed to meet new eligibility regulations introduced over the winter. The California supercar builder received a total of three penalties, the biggest for failing to build the prerequisite number of road cars. Saleen headed into the race believing it could count three race S7Rs toward the 12-car production minimum. A rule clarification before the race meant the nine road cars in production were not enough. The extra weight and reduction in engine power meant the best of the Saleens qualified nearly 3.5 seconds behind the pole-winning Chevrolet Corvette C5-R. Tommy Erdos, who set the time in the Graham Nash Motorsport entry, said, “This is affecting us immensely. The weight hits us in the corners and straight-line speed is way down.” Both Saleen and Le Mans are confident the performance restrictions will be removed as the company meets the rules. Gerard Gaschet, one of the Le Mans rules bosses, said, “Step by step the penalties will disappear.”

Laguna revamp
Remember the quaint, mostly flat paddock at Laguna Seca? It’s history. By the time you read this, construction crews will be pouring concrete on the first new garages, hospitality suites and fancy restrooms as part of Laguna’s $15 million improvement project. Ten double-car garages and 12 hospitality suites along with numerous other improvements will be in place by the end of the 2002 race season. Twenty double garages and 29 hospitality suites will be in place by the end of the 2003 season. Further upgrades are planned beyond that. The CART, Superbike, Monterey Historics and Sports Car events will go on as planned. See www.laguna-seca.com for more.

Long signs with Manor
Patrick Long, the young American driver who finished second in last year’s British Formula Ford title chase, has signed with the powerful Manor Motorsports team for the 2002 British Formula Renault championship. Manor Motorsports has a strong record of success in both Formula Renault and Formula 3. Finn Kimi Raikkonen, now driving for McLaren in F1, captured the 2000 British Formula Renault championship in a Manor-prepared car. Raikkonen moved straight from Formula Renault to F1. Long ran British Formula Ford last year, winning three races and losing the championship at the last race. His runner-up position was the highest ever by an American in the class. Thirteen Formula Renault rounds will be held at 11 races. The 2002 season kicks off April 1 at Brands Hatch.


By: RICK MATSUMOTO on March 17,2002
Original Article: TORONTO STAR (CANADA)

Ron Fellows has finally captured the elusive 12 Hours of Sebring.

The Mississauga driver brought the Corvette C5-R across the finish line at Florida’s 3.7-mile Sebring International Raceway last night at the head of the GTS class.

The victory came in the fourth attempt by Fellows and Corvette Racing to win the Sebring race, which along with the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Daytona, is considered one of the three major endurance events of world sports car racing.

“Finally, we finally did it,” said a relieved Fellows on the victory podium.

While Fellows, who had put the Corvette on the pole in qualifying, started and finished the race, he shared the driving with long-time co-driver Johnny O’Connell and newcomer Oliver Gavin.

Fellows’ car finished ninth overall, after covering 317 laps, 29 laps behind the winning Audi.

Interestingly, Gavin was one of the three drivers in the Saleen Mustang that upset Fellows and Corvette in last year’s Sebring race. This year, the Saleen S7R placed second with 309 laps.

Fellows had been the surprise overall winner of the 2001 24 Hours of Daytona a month earlier and had been the heavy favourite to win at Sebring. However, major mechanical problems allowed the Saleen to take the checkered flag in the GTS class.

This year Corvette Racing decided to pass up the Daytona race and concentrate its efforts on producing a reliable, as well as quicker, car for Sebring.

Audi, with lead driver Johnny Herbert driving the last hour, won the Prototype 900 class and the overall title for the third consecutive year.

PENSKE TOPS IRL: Helio Castroneves, a pilot for the IRL-interloper Marlboro Team Penske, captured pole position for today’s 200-lapper at Phoenix International Raceway by turning in a blistering lap of 20.0124 seconds around the one-mile oval – a speed of 179.888 m.p.h.

Castroneves nipped defending race winner Sam Hornish Jr. by 0.017 of a second to capture his first IRL pole.


By: N.A. on March 11, 2002
Original Article: AUTOWEEK, VOL. 52, ISSUE 10

One of the players in the sweepstakes to build Ford’s GT40 is Steve Saleen, maker of GTS-class S7R race cars whose company is currently hustling to get the street-legal S7 supercar to customers this month.

Sources say Saleen is among the companies under consideration for the job to produce the limitedproduction $100,000 car, but nothing is final. Also getting lots of consideration is Roush Industries, which played a part in building the retro-styled, rear-engined 500-hp GT40 show car revealed at the Detroit auto show (AW, Jan. 14).


The Classic Car Market Barometer Sets Eight World Records

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ — There was little evidence of a recession in Scottsdale, Arizona, this past weekend as a record number of car collectors and enthusiasts from around the globe descended upon the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction, presented by Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep.

An unrivaled selection of historic racecars, award-winning street rods and muscle cars, European sports cars, and American classics were sold on the auction block at the 31st annual edition of what is internationally recognized as the barometer of the industry, and tagged as “The World’s Greatest Classic Car Auction.”

According to Barrett-Jackson President Craig Jackson, this year’s sale clearly demonstrated it was a seller’s market. “Our bidders showed us they are prepared to pay top, and in some cases world record prices, for the very best quality cars,” said Jackson.

Throughout the four-day auction, capacity crowds watched as prices paid on the auction podium skyrocketed and bidders dueled it out over an unparalleled selection of collector cars. “This year’s auction saw top prices paid in nearly all categories of cars,” commented Jackson. “We continued to realize unprecedented prices for high quality hot-rods, and also exceeded a number of previously established world record prices for certain other car models,” continued Jackson.

Record prices were achieved for a 1956 Ford Thunderbird at $109,080; a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle LS-6 convertible at $172,800; a 1965 Chevrolet Corvette L-78 Roadster at $124,200; and a 1958 Chevrolet Impala Convertible at $86,400. An award-winning 1932 Ford Hi-Boy Roadster known as “Black Jack” topped the extensive list of significant hot rod sales with an unmatched price of $172,800.

Of the nearly 800 cars, and an extensive collection of racing memorabilia consigned to the auction, an impressive 86% of the lots were sold, pushing total sales volume to an unprecedented $26.9 million. The results exceeded last year’s record-breaking auction.

Legends from the motor racing world including Bobby Unser, Danny Sullivan and Parnelli Jones, together with Arizona Diamondback’s Cy Young Award winner Randy Johnson, joined television stars Tim Allen and Mark Harmon at Barrett-Jackson as record prices were achieved on the auction block. Baseball Hall of Fame’s Reggie Jackson, together with Cecil “Big Daddy” Fielder were both on the auction platform when avid collectors snatched up each of their rare Chevrolet Camaros. The $48,600 paid for Fielder’s 1969 Camaro COPO was eclipsed by “Mr. October’s” 1967 Camaro COPO that commanded $78,840. A record price was also paid for another example of the soon-to-be-discontinued Camaro, when a collector paid $118,800 for a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS Yenko.

The top price paid on the auction block went to the 2000 Saleen S7 Factory Prototype at $432,000, followed by a 1966 Ford GT40 used in the MGM movie “Grand Prix,” at $405,000.

All one hundred and fifty lots from the Race Rock Las Vegas restaurant, a one-of-a-kind automotive collection of race cars and rare racing memorabilia from every form of motorsport, brought over $520,000.

A one-of-a-kind Dodge “American Spirit” Viper Roadster was auctioned at No Reserve for $80,000 with all net proceeds going to benefit the DaimlerChrysler Help the Children Fund. This fund was established to help the children of victims from the events of September 11th.

The Barrett-Jackson auction is an automotive lifestyle event that continues to be one of the most influential worldwide drawing Hollywood celebrities, sports stars, legendary race car drivers, and serious collectors. The auction was also televised live for two days on the Speedvision / Speed Channel television network.

Each year the Barrett-Jackson Auction reaffirms its leadership position in the collector car market by elevating consignment standards, breaking annual records, and serving as the barometer for market trends. A listing of the sales prices can be found at http://www.barrett-jackson.com/auctionresults/byevent.asp and images of the cars sold at the Scottsdale auction can be found on the Barrett-Jackson website at www.barrett-jackson.com . The 32nd Annual Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction is scheduled for January 15th – 19th, 2003.

For further information, please contact: Timothy McGrane of Barrett-Jackson Auction Company, +1-480-421-6694, ext. 118, emedia@barrett-jackson.com.

SOURCE Barrett-Jackson Auction Company


By: KERMIT WHITFIELD on January 2002


Tucked away in a unassuming industrial park in Irvine, California in a building that could just as easily house boxes of semiconductors or disposable diapers, is the production facility/R&D center/corporate offices of Saleen, Inc., otherwise known as “pony car heaven.” Here, Ford Mustangs are disassembled, then transformed into bionic versions of their former selves.

Racing driver Steve Saleen founded the company in the early 1980s with the notion that there was a profitable market niche for customized high-performance Mustangs that wasn’t being filled by Ford. But instead of making expensive one-off machines, Saleen developed a system of mass customization that reaps many of the cost and precision benefits of mass production, without the quotidian image. Using this system the company has turned out over 8,000 vehicles, more than any other American specialty vehicle manufacturer.

The Process
The assembly line at Saleen bears little resemblance to anything found in a mass production plant; it is simply a line of cars on hand-pushed carts that are moved from station to station. But many of the operations that are performed in an assembly plant take place here. There is one big difference, though. Saleen’s assembly line is also a disassembly line: many factory parts have to be removed before the custom parts can be installed. The line has 15 stations that can produce five cars a day; it takes approximately three days for a car to cycle through the entire process. Each car receives modifications that can be broken down into two categories: those to the powertrain and running gear that enhance the car’s performance and those to the exterior appearance that make it look “fast.”

At the first station on the line the factory Mustangs are placed on a lift and stripped of their suspensions and of front and rear fascia, side skirts and side scoops. As the cars progress down the line, these parts are replaced with more aggressive Saleen counterparts. The coupes are outfitted with a seven-piece body kit that includes the aforementioned parts plus thicker C-pillars that create the optical illusion of a lower, longer, faster vehicle. These exterior parts are molded by Saleen out of urethane elastomer using a low-pressure machine. After molding, the parts are painted in Saleen’s in-house paint facility.

Currently the paint shop is located several miles away, which puts Saleen in the less-than-optimum position of having to transport painted parts to the assembly plant over the road, increasing the potential for scratches and deformations. But over the next few months the company will consolidate all of its operations in one building, which will allow it to quickly provide painted parts to the line in a low-volume version of just-in-time production.

Beyond just parts, Saleen’s paint shop has the capability of painting entire cars. The company utilizes the paint technology and expertise of longtime partner BASF to not only accurately color match Ford’s existing Mustang color palette, but to offer eight additional colors ranging from black metallic to an unusual bronze color dubbed “beryllium.” (Unlike automakers, Saleen does not dual source paint. But this is hardly surprising since in addition to its role as paint supplier BASF is also a major sponsor of Saleen’s racing efforts.)

The portion of the process that concentrates on the powertrain is quite a bit more involved than the exterior modification procedures, and unlike the exterior, it varies based on model. On the base model S281 changes are, well, basic. The engine’s electronic control module is re-programmed to squeeze out more horsepower and run on premium fuel. A less restrictive air filter is fitted, as are special underdrive pulleys and a 2 1/2-in. exhaust system. These changes represent the low-hanging fruit of increased horsepower and add 25 horses to the 260 hp on the stock version. An optional Roots-style supercharger is installed on some models, taking the horsepower count all the way up to 365.

If the car coming down the line is an upgraded S281-E (“E” stands for “extreme”), the entire engine is removed and essentially re-built in the plant’s off-line engine assembly area. This area is an enclosed space of modest size off of the main floor. It looks much more like the engine workshop of a racing team or a small R&D center than an automaker’s engine line. (And in fact, racing engines are built alongside those destined for civilians.) Here the stock Mustang engine that will become the S281-E’s powerplant is torn down to the block. It is then re-built with parts that Saleen designed based on its racing experience including: a forged steel crankshaft and rods, special camshafts, forged aluminum pistons, a whole new induction system (featuring a molded composite inlet tube which offers better airflow than aluminum and saves over four pounds in the bargain) and a high-capacity supercharger.

The reborn engine is then mated to a close ratio six-speed manual transmission and the new powertrain is reunited with the body. Describing the process, Steve Saleen says, “There isn’t any area on the engine that is not changed by us in some way.” (After years of working with Ford engines both on the factory floor and on the racetrack, Saleen has developed a close relationship with the maker and is trusted with detailed engine architecture information. This allows the company to design parts more quickly and with greater assurance that they will work well with Ford’s powerplant.)

Meanwhile, back on the line, the suspensions that were stripped in the first station are replaced with a performance-tuned setup, 18-in. Enkei wheels and Pirelli tires. Other assembly stations add touches that seem minor, but are important to the niche car buyer such as black-on-white gauges (with a speed Greeter that tops out at 200 mph) and racing-style pedals. Once complete, each car is test driven on a public road course that attempts to simulate as many different driving surfaces as possible and adjustments are made as necessary in a dedicated off-line area of the plant floor.

In addition to horsepower and handling, Saleen’s system cannily packages and sells exclusivity at a cut-rate price. Each car that rolls out of the Irvine facility is numbered, registered and treated like a collector’s item from day one. Saleen tracks ownership of its vehicles and can provide build and technical information to potential buyers of used models. The result is products that often increase in value and sell for more on the used car market than they did originally.

As for the stock parts that are the flotsam and jetsam of Saleen’s production system, the company has adjusted its approach over time to that potential source of waste. In the 1980s it ordered its Mustangs stripped to the bone, partly in order to reduce the number of factory parts it would have to get rid of. But this proved to be a burden on Ford and no real bargain for Saleen. So, it changed its strategy, began ordering fully-equipped models and identified buyers for the replaced parts. Today, practically every part is sold not scrapped.

Faster and Hipper
Steve Saleen sees his operations as a model for what can be achieved in the niche vehicle arena by a small agile company. He says bluntly that his company is “able to service the enthusiast market more quickly and accurately” than a behemoth like Ford. When he compares his business to that of Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT), which Saleen preceded and influenced, he draws the analogy of the relationship between ESPN and ESPN2. If SVT’s Cobras are the equivalent of major league basketball, Saleen’s Mustangs are the edgier, younger “X Games.”

The company projects the market for its high-performance products to increase in the future, especially now that GM has axed its pony cars. Don Cuzzocrea, Saleen’s chief operating officer, says, “There is a lot more interest in these types of vehicles because the mainstream cars are becoming more and more homogenized. The Camaros and Firebirds you could order from GM were a little edgier than the Mustangs you can get from Ford, so we think we will pick up a lot of those customers.”

Interest outside of the pony car crowd seems to be growing as well. Steve Saleen says that at the recent Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas he was approached by representatives from several Ford divisions that were interested in utilizing his company’s unique services. Perhaps suped-up Volvos and Jaguars will someday make their way down the line in Irvine.


By: N.A. on January 1, 2002
Original Article: TIRE BUSINESS, VOL. 19, ISSUE 20

November shipments off 6%
AKRON—Industrywide shipments of replacement consumer and commercial truck tires fell 6 percent from year-ago levels, Goodyear said in its monthly report to investors. The company acknowledged that its own tire shipments were down even more.

The tire maker said that while Goodyear brand shipments fared better than those of the industry at large, its total unit shipments for the month failed to keep pace. The company said it shipped about 200,000 tires in November as part of Ford Motor Co.’s replacement program for Firestone Wilderness AT tires.

Industry shipments to original equipment customers declined 5 percent in November from year-ago levels for consumer tires and were down 32 percent for commercial tires, the report said.

Meanwhile, Goodyear said it made substantial production cutbacks during November and expects more of the same in December due to continued weak OE and replacement tire markets.

Smar Tire loses $1.6 million
RICHMOND, British Columbia—Tire pressure monitoring system developer SmarTire Systems Inc. suffered a net loss of $1.6 million in its fiscal first quarter ended Oct. 31 despite nearly doubling sales, to $352,629. The first quarter loss was slightly larger than that reported a year earlier, the company said.

The sales increase reflects a “moderate increase” in the firm’s passenger car aftermarket business and a “new commitment to mass market opportunities” in original equipment accounts, said Robert Rudman, president and CEO, who said SmarTire made “significant progress” with potential OE accounts.

New tire safety laws in the U.S. that make tire pressure monitoring systems mandatory by 2003 have created a surge in demand for tire monitoring technology, Mr. Rudman said.

Pep Boys shifts private brand biz
PHilADELPHIA—Automotive service chain Pep Boys—Manny, Moe & Jack is shifting nearly 100 percent of its private-brand fire business to Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., which currently makes about 60 percent of the firm’s tires.

The deal will mean the loss of about $100 million in business for Bridgestone/Firestone, which along with Cooper makes Pep Boys’ Futura tires, according to Tire Business research.

Bridgestone/Firestone and Pep Boys “mutually decided to discontinue business” during the first half of 2002, said Mike Cerio, BFS executive director, North American Consumer Tire corporate accounts, who also said the company “would welcome the opportunity to work with them again in the future.”

The sale of Cornell and Futura brand tires represented 17 percent of Pep Boys revenues, or $333 million in fiscal 2000. Pep Boys operates more than 620 stores in 37 U.S. states and Puerto Rico.

Pirelli, Saleen renew racing pact
LAS VEGAS—Pirelli Tires has renewed its tire and marketing relationship with high-performance vehicle manufacturer Saleen/Allen Speedlab for the 2002 American Le Mans Series, the tire maker said.

Pirelli had helped Saleen win the Triple Crown of the inaugural Grand-Am racing season, but chose not to compete in 2000 to focus on improving its racing products.

Under the renewed deal, Pirelli will offer its latest P Zero racing slicks to Saleen’s S7R supercar customer teams as well as other GTS and GT cars in the ALMS and the FIA GT.


By: MARK VAUGHN on May 8, 2014 at 4:56 am
Original Article: AUTOWEEK, VOL. 51, ISSUE 54

Where are those Saleen S7s, anyway?

When we put the Saleen S7 on our cover (AW, Sept. 25, 2000), Steve Saleen told us the cars would be ready for delivery by “the second quarter of 2001.” Now, here it is a week away from 2002. Has anyone seen an S7 driving down any city street? No they haven’t, not unless that city street was bordered in concrete and fence to masquerade as a racetrack. Nor did we see street cars at a promised press intro last July. So what happened?

Saleen insists the project is on schedule and S7 supercars will be in dealer showrooms by March ’02. When he gave the original delivery date, he says, he didn’t mean just street cars; he meant race cars, too, and there are S7R race cars competing. Four Saleen customer teams won four championships in 2001, the S7’s first full year of competition, from the FIA Spanish GT to the ALMS GTS drivers’ championships. Impressive, but still none are being valet parked.

“We’re probably running about six months later than what we had anticipated [on the street car],” said Saleen. “Which is somewhat normal, I guess.”

Here’s how that happened: When the Saleen team went to test for the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona a year ago, race car customers came out of the wood-or rather, carbon-fiber-work. So the attention Saleen intended to devote to developing a street version S7 instead went toward making race cars. That, and Saleen had to set up a dealer network. And add content to the street version. And work out “all the nickel-dime issues.” And crash an S7 for the Feds (successfully). And tune the engine to meet EPA standards (he expects U.S. certification in a month or two). And consolidate operations in a new building. And launch the S281-E Mustang. And put out the dog and bring in the cat.

He’s been busy.

What got this question raised is that the prototype S7, the one shown at the Monterey Historics in 2000, is for sale at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction Jan. 16-20, 2002. But that car is not legal for the street. The prototype is being offered by a Saleen dealer who convinced Saleen to let him buy it. The dealer, Park Place Ltd. of Bellevue, Washington, expects it to go for more than $500,000, citing “historical value potential.”

And there are two other things. The street car’s price that was originally $375,000 is now $395,000, an increase Saleen says was requested by dealers. Saleen’s race cars look like they’ll be legal for another run at Le Mans and another season in ALMS. However, the FIA, the international racing governing body, will almost certainly ban the car because of the firm’s failure to build-homologate-production cars (AW, Dec. 10).

We’ve been led down this supercar path before, a path paved with amazing performance claims and ever-changing price tags, by guys like Weigert, Bricklin, Mosler, Shelby and DeLorean. We always go along because it’s such a cool path. Like an abused spouse in a dysfunctional relationship, we want to believe this time we really will go 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds, hit a top speed of more than 200 mph and find cars in showrooms all across America at the original price.

Predictably, Saleen bristles at any parallel between him and failed supercar makers who have come before him. Saleen has a proven track record of building more than 8000 cars, he says. He has strong financial backing from a major automotive supplier. He’s not selling stock options (though Saleen says 41 customers have handed dealers $100,000 to make an order, with an undisclosed portion of that going to Saleen. Of that, dealers say 29 deposits are for street cars). He claims to have 95 percent of the tooling ready. He has a 150,000 square-foot industrial monolith in Irvine, California. He has CAD-CAM machines and computer guys clacking away at the keyboards. And there is no outcry (yet) from dealers or customers demanding their S7s, as there was with the Shelby Series 1 and other supercars. In fact, almost all the dealers we spoke with were happy with Saleen.

“I have no problem with them being late,” said Steve Serio of Aston Martin of New England. “The first Vanquish we got was a year late. If it [the S7] is being pushed back to make sure it’s finished right, that’s fine. I’d rather have it arrive in one beautiful piece.”

But come March-really, a short three months away-we expect to see S7s in showrooms and to drive one legally registered for the street. We want to believe, we really do. Because this time it really is going to be different. Isn’t it, Steve?


First American Supercar to Be Offered at Barrett-Jackson Auction In Scottsdale, AZ.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ — The original factory prototype Saleen S7 supercar will be offered for sale at the 31st Annual Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction in Scottsdale, AZ, January 16th – 20th, 2002.

Saleen, Inc., a specialty vehicle manufacturer for 18 years, created the first true American supercar to take on the most exclusive cars in the world with the launch of the Saleen S7. Conceived to combine the performance of a track-only racecar with the driving pleasure of a road car, the S7 incorporates the very best in modern racing motor technology with the best in luxury and creature comforts.

Introduced in August 2000 at the famed Monterey Historic Races, the original Factory Prototype #0001 was used to announce the Saleen S7 road-going supercars and the Saleen S7R racecars.

The aerodynamic carbon-fibre body, tube frame construction, 200 mile-per-hour road going supercar features an aluminum 7-litre engine putting out 550 hp and capable of 0 to 60 in under 4 secs.

The 31st Annual Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction, presented by Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep, will be held January 17th through January 20th 2002 at WestWorld in Scottsdale, Arizona. An updated listing and images of the cars consigned to the auction can be found on the company website at; www.barrett-jackson.com .

For further information, please contact Timothy P. McGrane of Barrett-Jackson, +1-480-421-6694 ext 125, emedia@barrett-jackson.com.



Exotic S7 and New S281-E Mark Saleen’s 19th Production Year

IRVINE, Calif., Sept. 20 – Inspired by the sales success of their popular S281 series sports cars and the multiple international motorsports championships earned by the potent S7R, Saleen Inc. has announced the expansion and refinement of their product line for the 2002 model year. Now in its 19th year of manufacturing premier performance automobiles, Saleen will offer driving enthusiasts the option of several exciting variations of their popular Mustang-based performance cars, as well as the first truly American supercar – the Saleen S7.

For 2002, Saleen Mustang enthusiasts can choose from a broad spectrum of Saleen S281 models ranging from the highly desirable S281 sports car to the S281 Supercharged version all the way up to the powerful new S281-E. Each of these sophisticated cars incorporate Saleen’s legendary balance of power, handling and good looks, and each comes in Coupe, Convertible or Speedster versions. Special Saleen suspensions, slick aerodynamics, interior refinement and Saleen-designed wheels and Pirelli tires are standard on all S281s, while customers can also choose from a limited but exciting list of options to personalize their new Saleen. These additions have been refined for the 2002 model year into more streamlined packages to better address the needs of the Saleen customer.

In addition, a colorful palette of colors is also available including Saleen S7 Silver, Speedlab Yellow, Lizstick Red, Pearl White, Black Metallic, Beryllium, Victory Blue and Bright Signature Red.

The S281 combines classic Saleen performance and appearance with outstanding value. Boasting a healthy 285 horsepower from its 4.6-liter (281 cid) SOHC V8, a new “X-Pipe” exhaust system boasts the car’s torque to 320 ft. lbs. at 4,100 rpm and a quarter mile time of 14.1 seconds at 98 miles an hour. Carrying a Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price of $32,999 for the Coupe and $36,999 for the Convertible, the S281 provides a level of power and sophistication found in cars costing twice as much.

Introduced in 1999, the S281 Supercharged addition was quickly accepted by Saleen customers as the benchmark in performance Mustangs. Manufactured with a sophisticated Saleen Series II Supercharger system and “PowerFlash” performance calibration system, the S281 Supercharged has already reached a sales level equal to its normally aspirated 8281 counterpart. Packing a neck-snapping 365 horsepower and 400 ft. lbs. of torque, the S281 Supercharged provides the driver a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds, with the quarter mile flashing by at only 13.2 seconds. Despite the industry-leading performance, the S281 Supercharged provides consumers a high level of value at a price of $39,299 for the Coupe and $43,299 for the Convertible.

The newest bullet in the Saleen performance holster for 2002 is the cutting- edge S281-E (“E” for Extreme). Manufactured with the latest in Saleen race-bred technology, the latest addition to the Saleen performance fraternity is the most powerful street Mustang available on today’s market. At the heart of the S281-E is a unique Saleen-manufactured 4.6-liter powerplant complete with the latest Saleen Series V “screw-type” supercharger system. Coupled with the company’s S281-E six-speed transmission, the new S281-E pumps out an impressive 425 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 440 ft.-lbs. of torque at 4,000 rpm. (Need we say more?). The Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the new S281-E will begin at $59,995, a true performance value considering the world-class power and refinement of the newest S281 offering.

The year 2002 will also see the first production deliveries of the exotic and highly-anticipated Saleen S7 American supercar. First introduced less than one year ago, the mid-engine Saleen S7 has garnered international recognition for its elegant, but aggressive, modern styling and the instant success its S7R sibling has enjoyed in the world’s most legendary sports car races. In only its first year of competition, the Saleen S7R has won championships in both the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) and the Grand American Road Racing Association series; along with numerous race wins including the 2001 12 Hours of Sebring and a new GTS race record (and podium finish) at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans.

In step with Saleen’s long-established linkage of product development through motorsports, the production S7 is expected to reflect some of the lesson’s learned in the world’s most challenging endurance races. The process of certifying the S7 for street use is well underway, with the first cars expected to reach Saleen dealer showrooms by early 2002. The 7.0-liter S7, which will provide its lucky owners with just over 550 horsepower, will carry a Manufacturer’s Suggest Retail Price (MSRP) of $395,000. Available only through an ever-expanding global network of Saleen-certified dealers, the S7 takes the Saleen tradition of putting “Power in the Hands of a Few” to its ultimate level.

Saleen facilities include total research and engineering, design and assembly capability. Since the company’s inception in 1984, Saleen has produced more than 8,000 vehicles, more than any other specialty manufacturer. The company’s divisions include Saleen Mustangs, Saleen S7 and S7R, the Saleen/Allen Speedlab, Saleen engineering and Saleen Performance Parts, the latter a complete line of performance and appearance products for Mustangs, Explorers and the new Ford Focus.

Contact: Jack Gerken 949-597-4900

76 Fairbanks
Irvine, CA 92618
t 949 597 4900
f 949 597 0201



Saleen Pushes Its Own Mustang Envelope With Introduction Of 2002 S281-E

IRVINE, Calif., Sept. 20 – In the world of high-performance automotive manufactures, history has shown that constant refinement and staying true to a company’s founding objectives are the keys to long-term success. Forget the fancy adjectives and PR fluff. The entire objective is to build exciting sports cars that are a blast to drive — period.

In keeping with Saleen Inc.’s colorful 19-year history of manufacturing precisely such aspirational automobiles, the company has announced the release of its most refined sports car to date – the awe-inspiring S281-E. Boasting the most powerful engine available in today’s Mustang-based market, the newest member of the Saleen family is also the most refined Mustang the company has ever offered to the public.

The “E” stands for “Extreme,” and, given the car’s outstanding list of performance features, the new name is certainly justified. Available as a coupe, convertible or speedster, the S281-E uses a specially-prepared Saleen power plant that provides a whopping 425 horsepower at 5,400 RPM, matched by an impressive 440 ft. lbs. of torque.

“We are very proud of our newest addition to the Saleen line-up” Explained company founder and product visionary Steve Saleen. “While our S281 supercharged model sets the benchmark in performance, handling and top speed, we wanted to provide the hard-core enthusiast with the ultimate example of Saleen Mustang technology and innovation. The S281-E is in perfect keeping with our corporate mission of providing our clients with branded products that deliver the ultimate performance combined with real functionality and cutting edge style”.

The life of the S281-E begins, like all Saleen production cars, on the floor of the company’s new 140,000 square foot facility. The new car proceeds down Saleen’s well-organized assembly line and through the hands of the highly skilled technicians.

For the S281-E the list of standard equipment includes:

  • Quick ratio 6 speed manual transmission
  • Complete Saleen racecraft suspension including raced developed shocks, springs and boxed rear control arms
  • A refined rear end assembly featuring the new Saleen “MaxGrip” speed-sensitive limited slip diff
  • A high performance Saleen braking system and complete Saleen interior

Outside the body receives the latest in Saleen designed and manufactured aerodynamics, along with the customer’s choice of Speedlab Yellow, Saleen S7 Silver, Pearl White, Lizstick Red, Black Metallic, Beryllium, Victory Blue or Bright Signature Red by BASF. The S281-E rolls on high performance Pirelli P-zero tires and huge 18″ Saleen-designed alloy.

At the heart of the S281-E’s stunning performance is the highly potent powerplant. Built in-house under the experienced guidance chief engineer Neil Hannermann and engine department manager Bill Tally, the 281 CID (4.6)L engine is comprised of a special forged steel Saleen crankshaft, forged connecting rods, forged aluminum pistons and unique Saleen aluminum cylinder heads featuring special valve springs and the latest Saleen performance camshafts. An 11″ aluminum flywheel uses a Kevlar padded clutch disc to transfer the power to the 6-speed trans by way of custom balanced driveshaft.

In addition to the increased rpm available with the “E” engine, a new developed Saleen Series V “screw type” supercharger is utilized to increase power, along with a Saleen water to air intercooler with heat exchanger. The engine is feed via a specially designed Saleen 90mm Mass air sensor, inlet tube and manifold, while exhaust is routed through a Saleen designed 2.5″ stainless steel, four-way catalytic, high flow exhaust. Engine management is handled by sequential electronic fuel injectors and the new Saleen “Powerflash” performance calibration computer.

The result of this extensive Saleen manufacturing process is one of the most potent cars ever offered to the ever-enthusiastic group of Mustang fans. The S281-E not only represents the latest example of the Saleen automotive philosophy, it is also the logical extension to the company’s growing line of high-performance cars.

“When you look at how far we’ve come in the past 19 year, you can’t help but be proud of a car like the new S281-E.” explained Saleen. “It has all the speed and handling of our monster S351, but in a much more developed package. All of the gains we’ve made in creating reliable horsepower and crisp, but supple, chassis handling have been brought together in all our new 2002 models. The upper step of the Saleen Mustang performance ladder is now occupied by the new S281-E; right behind our radical SR Widebody. Our customers can now truly have the ‘extreme’ in power and performance, while at the same time enjoying the refinement of a BMW.”

Carrying a suggest retail price starting at $59,995, the S281-E takes its place with the rest of the Saleen’s broad line of ultra high-performance sports cars – including the racing-derived Saleen Mustang SR and the incredible Saleen S7 American supercar. Saleen vehicle are available only through a growing network of selected Saleen certified dealers.

Contact: Jack Gerken 949-597-4900

76 Fairbanks
Irvine, CA 92618
t 949 597 4900
f 949 597 0201